Introduction

Urinary stone (calculus) disease is one of the most common urinary tract abnormalities. Although small renal stones are often asymptomatic, clinical presentations in affected patients include hematuria, pain, urinary obstruction, infection, and renal functional impairment, the last occasionally being irreversible. Because of the frequent recurrence of renal stones and their complications, imaging studies play an important role in the diagnosis and management of both patients with acute and patients with chronic urinary stone disease (1-4). The introduction of helical computed tomography (CT) technology in 1990 changed the urologic evaluation of patients with urinary calculi. Since Smith et al. first reported the use of unenhanced CT for the evaluation of patients with acute flank abdominal pain (5), CT has become the imaging modality of choice at the vast majority of emergency centers in the United States. Many studies have documented the unmatched accuracy of CT in the detection of urinary stones when compared to plain abdominal radiography [kidney, ureters, and bladder (KUB) radiographs], excretory urography (EU), ultrasonography (US), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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